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Can front Load Washer Use Powder Detergent?

Can the front load washer use powder detergent? (Explained!)

    November 16, 2022; AZMAIN AHNAF

    Yes, you can use powder detergent in the front load washer, and it’s so normal. The detergent tray of front load washers has a dedicated section for pouring powder detergent. However, few models allow using powder and liquid detergent in the same chamber of the detergent tray.

    If you are new to the front load washer, you might need a clear understanding of how to use powder or liquid detergent differently. In this article, I will clarify that. 

    Also, read your user manual to get the exact model-wise information.

    How to use powder detergent in front load washer?  

    Can the front load washer use powder detergent

    Using Main wash:  Commonly, the main wash detergent compartment remains at the very left corner of the front-loaders detergent tray. A few models contain a blue-colored plastic liquid holder inside them. (Same as the image).

    The liquid plastic holder is detachable. Before using powder detergent, you must detach the blue liquid holder and pour the necessary amount of detergent inside.  

    While using liquid detergent, you don’t need to detach the plastic holder, and you may directly pour the liquid detergent inside the holder.

    Using Bleach: In most cases, the detergent tray doesn’t have a dedicated chamber for the bleach. So you can pour the bleach liquid/powder inside the main chamber with the main-wash detergent.

    Mixing powder detergent with liquid bleach or vice versa will be fine. It’s not problematic. 

    But, if you are an LG front loader user, you will find a dedicated compartment for bleach inside the detergent tray. So you won’t have any headaches with it.

    Using Pre-Wash: Generally, prewash laundry detergents are found in spray form, though there are a few powder types available too, which are more effective than the spray form. 

    Prewash detergent holders generally remain on the very right side of the detergent tray. You may pour the detergent inside, similar to the main wash detergent.

    A few users have asked me if they should simultaneously pour down the prewash and main wash detergent before the washing cycle. 

    The answer is YES. You need to pour both of the detergents before the washing cycle. The front loader washers are intelligent enough to take those different detergents from different chambers at the perfect time.

    Using Fabric Softener:  Fabric softeners are always liquid. So you shouldn’t have any questions about it. You need to pour it down in the right section of the detergent tray, and you are good to go.

    You will find the fabric softener section in the middle of the detergent tray or the top right portion of the LG washer’s tray.

    How much powder detergent to use in the front load washer?

    Front load washers are highly efficient; they don’t need too much detergent and water. But here’s a rule of thumb.

    1X Tablespoon- For a regular wash, like 6 items of clothing or 2 lbs load such as 3 shirts & 3 pants. 

    1.5X Tablespoon- For 2 lbs load with heavy stains of mud. But if you use 1X tablespoon of prewash detergent, another 1X tablespoon of main wash detergent will be sufficient.

    2X Tablespoon- For heavy loads, such as towels, blankets, jackets, seats, and other oversized clothing, you will require 3X tablespoons of detergents if the total weight goes beyond 5 lbs. But if you wash any of these single items, you will only need 2X tablespoons of detergent.

    Additionally, on average, I’ve found the best level of freshness using 2X tablespoons of softeners with an adjacent amount of detergent.


    Can you put powder detergent directly in the front load washer?


    Technically you can, but that’s not a good practice!

    Automatic front-load washers are programmed for various cleaning procedures so that you can operate based on the stain level, fabric type, and so on.   

    When you keep the detergent in the tray, the washer takes it in a certain quantity at different times. 

    However, on a few models of advanced front loader washers, such as LG and Samsung, the washer takes some detergent to generate bubbles and foam, then spray forcefully inside the drum. 

     If you directly put the detergent inside the drum, you can’t take advantage of these intelligent features. 

    Though, only some users feel pleasure in using washing pods. Pods have no other way rather than directly put inside the drum. 

    So, if you use powder or liquid detergent, I never suggest you put them inside the drum.


    Can you use powder detergent in high-efficiency washers?


    Can the front load washer use powder detergent

    Yes, you definitely can. 

    But, using liquid detergents seems more efficient tome in high-efficient washers. Cause a few of the advanced washers, like GE, come with an intelligent dispenser feature. 

    The intelligent dispensing feature is only applicable to liquid detergent. 

    Otherwise, you can use powder detergent, and the result will surely be satisfying.


    Which is better for front-load washing machines, Liquid and Powder?


    As I already explained, you can use both powder and liquid detergent to front-load the washers. However, both liquid and powder detergent have their advantages. 

    Benefits of using powder detergent

    • Powder detergent cleans mud and clay better than liquid detergents.
    • The cost of powder detergents is slightly low than liquids.
    • Using powder detergents is less messy.
    • Measuring powder detergents are easier than liquids.

    Benefits of Liquid detergent

    • Liquid detergents clean oil, grease, or food dirt better.
    • You will need less amount of liquid detergent than powders.
    • Advanced washers offer an automatic dispensing feature for liquid detergents so that the machine does the measurement for you.
    • Liquid detergents make better foam, so they get quickly soaked by heavy clothes.
    • You will get a silky feeling after washing clothes with liquid detergent. 

    However, I take both powder and liquid detergent beside my high-efficiency front-load washer. I use powders to clean muddy rugs and liquid detergent to wash my clothes. 


    Which detergent is best for front load washing machine? 


    I’ve tried various detergents for the front load washer, and frankly, they all work with slightly different results, which might not even be noticeable.

    But if you want me to refer something, here’s my recommendation.

    “All”: All works great for oil and grease and is comparatively lower priced than Tide. As a cleaning performance, I will mark it 9.5/10, and for the price tag, I will give it 6/10.

    “Tide”: Tide is probably the best-selling detergent in the world, and its cleaning performance is outstanding. But Tide is the most expensive detergent too. For its cleaning performance, I would rank it 9.5/10, and for the price tag, I will give it 5/10.

    “Arm and Hammer”: I usually use it for its best price tag. While a tide 96 load comes with a $19.24 price tag, the arm and hammer offer 107 loads for only $8.49, while the washing performance is almost the same. I will rank its washing performance 8/10.


    Can I use softeners with powder detergent? 


    Practically, there’s no relation between detergents and softeners

    Fabric softeners reduce the harshness of clothes and produce a silky vibe. No matter whether you use powder detergent or liquid detergent, you may fill free to use fabric softener for suitable clothes.

    But you must ensure that you put the softener in the right section of the detergent tray.


    Can you mix powder detergent with liquid detergent?


    No, you should not mix powder detergent with liquid detergent. Though both have similar pH (7 to 10) levels, they contain different ingredients and work differently. Let me explain why.

    Main Components of powder detergents

    • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES Liquid) 
    •  Dodecyl Benzene Sulphuric Acid (Acid Slurry)
    • Sodium Carbonate (Soda ash)
    • Trisodium phosphate (TSP) 
    • Sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP)
    • Sodium Sulfate (Global Salt)
    • Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC)
    • Tinopal
    • Perfume

    Components of Liquid Detergents

    • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES Liquid)
    • Alpha olefin sulfonate Liquid (AOS)
    • Enzymes
    • Sodium Silicate
    • Demineralized Water
    • Perfume

    If you mix them, a chemical reaction occurs internally, decreasing their effectiveness. 

    So, if you require cleaning mud and oil at the same time, you may first wash with powder detergent, then again may apply liquid detergent for the best result.


    When should I avoid using powder detergent in the front load washer?


    I never suggest using powder detergents for sensitive fabrics like Viscose, Silk, cashmere, linen, etc. If that fabric contains a silicon coating for smoothness, powder detergent with make that harsh,

    So for this particular circumstance, always use liquid detergent with fabric softener.


    Can powder detergent get clogged into the front loader’s detergent tray?


    Yes, it might be clogged into the detergent tray.

    When water comes in touch with powder detergent, the mixture gets sticky. Sometimes the waterline supplies water slowly, and the powder detergent gets clogged on the tray due to insufficient water flow.

    But it’s not a big deal. You may clean it with a few steps by taking the tray out.


    Need I rinse clothes after using powder detergent?


    You don’t need to rinse clothes differently in the front load washer. The program automatically does it after a washing cycle.

    But in case you put an extra amount of powder detergent due to mud and dirtiness, you might add an extra rinse cycle for better freshness.

    Final Thoughts

    You can use powder detergent in any front load washer, and the performance won’t decrease due to it—however, it’s less expensive.

    But for some sensitive fabrics, I would recommend using liquid detergents indeed.

    Handy Talker Author

    Azmain Ahnaf is a Software Engineer and a passionate blogger who likes sharing tips and tricks and home appliances-related topics in handytalker blog. He believes that sharing knowledge with each other can create the world much easier!

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